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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Today... the immigrants are under attack. Yet again.

There is a graphic floating around Facebook, telling everyone how in North Korea and in the Middle East, anyone crossing the border illegally might be arrested, tortured and possibly executed, whereas in the United States people crossing the border illegally are given a drivers license, food stamps and a bunch of other benefits.

If you see this graphic, I urge you not to share it. In fact, I would like to ask that you encourage people not to share it as well.

First of all, in North Korea and in certain nations of the Middle East, one need not be an individual crossing the border illegally to be captured, tortured and possibly executed. Being a lawful citizen works too. One only need to log onto a wrong web site, contact a wrong person, or drop a casual remark at the wrong place, at the wrong time. I doubt we really want to introduce such practices in this country.

Second, portraying all illegal immigrants as a bunch of freeloaders is inaccurate, untrue, and, frankly, deeply insulting. For starters, I would like to invite everyone to read this excellent article. It has been around for some time, but there really isn't anything better - there is just no better way to say what it says.

Some other things to consider. Immigrants supporting their families living abroad cannot write them off as dependents on their tax returns, as an American-born individual could, if supporting family members.

Many illegal immigrants come here legally, but fall out of status because they are actually following the rules and guidelines provided by the Department of Homeland Security. So, whenever I hear someone say, "Oh, why don't they just follow the rules?" I honestly want to smack them.

During the green card and citizenship application process, in addition to considerable expense, paperwork, and extensive processing times, immigrants who follow the process are treated like potential terrorists. The basis of American justice - presumption of innocence - does not enter the equation. You are a potential criminal, drug lord or terrorist until proven a decent person. And you are treated accordingly.

Considering how immigrants are treated by American immigration system and by a large part of American public, it is amazing that anyone wants to come and live in this country at all. But we do it anyway, because of the incomparable hell we are fleeing from - something most Americans have no clue about.

I invite everyone to know the facts and treat the information pertaining to immigrants - both legal and illegal - accordingly.

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